Secret services MI5 and MI6 have been asked by the UK Chancellor to focus more on cyber attacks.
British Chancellor George Osborne has reportedly asked secret intelligence services MI5 and MI6 to concentrate more on cyber attacks than counter-terrorism.
Senior sources revealed that Osborne asked secret agency chiefs on Friday 26 October to consider channeling spending on intelligence to cyber attacks than alleged counter-terrorism.
The Chancellor’s intervention came after a meeting of the National Security Council back in the summer, which appears to have caused a row within Whitehall about the future priorities of the British intelligence agencies.
MI5, MI6 and the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) are all currently under pressure to do more to protect British interests against internet-based attacks.
The Intelligence and Security Committee that involves senior MPs and peers said it was “concerned that much of the work to protect UK interests in cyberspace is still at an early stage” and urged that the work should be stepped up.
British Foreign Secretary William Hague told The Daily Telegraph
that he saw daily evidence of “deliberate, organised attacks” against corporate and government networks from “cyber criminals or foreign actors.”
Furthermore, Osborne’s challenge over alleged terrorism is his second major intervention on security issues in the recent months.
Earlier this month, a report disclosed that he had helped force military commanders plan for a quicker pull-out of British troops from Afghanistan.